U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said during a press conference on Thursday that the nation should “stop building” jails if we want to reduce violent crime and the number of inmates in prisons.
“It is not acceptable for us to use jails as garbage bins for human beings. We need to treat people and see them as human,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. “If we want to reduce violent crime, reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them.” The press conference was on violence prevention.
“The answer is to make sure we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care,” she argued. “It’s to support communities, not throw them away.”
“Our complete gutting of support in our mental health system both in this city and across the country is absolutely correlated with both homelessness and incidents of violent crime,” she contended.
(Video Credit: The Hill)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, both Democrats, were in attendance at the press conference in New York as well and gave Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks their full support despite homicides having jumped by 33 percent in the United States following efforts to defund the police. Unsurprisingly, 63 of the 66 largest cities have seen an overall increase in violent crime during the last year.
The spike in violent crime in the Big Apple was not addressed even though reported shootings in New York City skyrocketed 86% by the end of May, according to the New York Police Department. At least 13 people were shot in the city’s five boroughs during Memorial Day weekend. One of those fatalities included a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed in the Bronx.
New York Democrats are calling on Congress to earmark $400,000 to support a program called “Stand Up To Violence.” Instead of addressing violent crime and the incarceration of those who commit such acts, this program focuses on eliminating gun violence through counseling and community outreach.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Right here in the Bronx, our community developed a successful approach to reducing violence. It starts at the hospital after an incident. We bring in psych Drs & folks who turned their *own* lives around to work w/ youth. It’s reduced reoccurrence of violence by more than 50%.”
She followed that tweet with another on the issue: “It’s called Stand Up to Violence (SUV), a cutting edge program run out of @JacobiHosp (a PUBLIC hospital!), and it is hands down one of the most effective treatments we‘ve seen to reduce incidents of violence like shootings and stabbings. I’m asking for fed resources to grow it.”
It’s called Stand Up to Violence (SUV), a cutting edge program run out of @JacobiHosp (a PUBLIC hospital!), and it is hands down one of the most effective treatments we‘ve seen to reduce incidents of violence like shootings and stabbings.
I’m asking for fed resources to grow it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 3, 2021
The “Stand Up To Violence” program is based at a hospital that is located in Ocasio-Cortez’s home district in the Bronx.
Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas were not well-received on Twitter:
I say you’re lying AOC. Show stats.
We all know some people are animals. Nothing can be done about those except to arrest them — with police — and lock them up, then let them figure it out and change themselves behind bars, not in our streets.
— Stan Kerr (@spjk) June 3, 2021
Weren’t you the one that was supporting BLM, ANTIFA, defunding the police, etc.
how is that working out for you?
— Sunshine PA Sue. (@PennslytckySue) June 3, 2021
Does this individual have mental health problems? She certainly sounds like she need psychiatric assistance.
— No Opinion (@1st_Noopinion) June 3, 2021
What is the source for this data? Reduced reoccurrence of violence by 50%. This is a very political phrase here. Again source and definitions. Because crime in NYC is definitely not down. At. All.
— IronMike5189620 (@RReady96) June 3, 2021
Do y’all New Yorkers really think she’s good at her job? 😂
— ViN GLeaSaL (@ViN_GLeaSaL) June 3, 2021
Stop building more jails so that the criminals who are supposed to be in jail, are out & free. Glad she isn’t from my nation
— Snehil Singh (@Snehilsingh09) June 3, 2021
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